Administration of Justice 460

History of Criminal Justice

Spring 1993


Philip Jenkins   

Class meets Tues/Thurs 8-9.15 am

Office hours: Tues/Thurs 11.15 am-12.15 pm; and by appointment


The course

   This course traces the development of major aspects of criminal justice from earliest times to the present day.



   The grade for the course will be based on three examinations, which will occur on:

February 11        March 25       April 29

   Each of these exams will be objective in format, with a mixture of multiple-choice and true-false questions. Each exam is worth 30% of the grade. There is no comprehensive exam, and therefore note that there will not be a final examination, regardless of what the course schedule says. The three exams make up 90% of the grade. The remaining 10% is based on class attendance and participation.

   If you prefer, you can substitute a paper for any one of the exams, and that will then be worth 30% of the grade. You must let me know in plenty of time which exam you will be opting out of, and the topic on which you want to write a paper. I am flexible about this, and will accept most reasonable topics within the general scope of the course. I can also help you with reading lists and bibliography. The paper cannot be substituted retroactively for an exam, nor can it be used for extra credit. The paper will then be due on the same day as the exam for which you are substituting it. The paper should be at least twelve to fifteen pages, typed, and fully referenced.



Deadlines matter, and I intend to enforce them strictly. If you miss a deadline without getting an extension in advance, you get a non-negotiable grade of F on that particular exam, paper or project. Do not get in touch with me after the fact to explain why you missed an exam, unless you produce a proper medical note. Excuses must always be supported by documentation. Valid reasons include medical problems and the like. I am aware that ROTC sometimes makes strange demands on its members, and these reasons would be valid: but note that ROTC also provides documentation for these absences, which must be produced if you want to claim this as a reason for an extension.


The following are not valid reasons for an extension, so please don't ask:

"I have other exams that day" (so ask the other professors for the extension)

"I'm leaving early for break" (not if you want the grade, you're not)

"I overslept" (Always a danger in an early class. Buy an alarm clock)


Texts - required

1. Philip Jenkins, A reader of sources and documents on the history of criminal justice (1993 edition only), available from the University Bookstore. Hereafter cited simply as Reader.

2. Philip Jenkins, Intimate Enemies: Moral Panics in Contemporary Great Britain. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1992. ISBN: 0-202-30436-1, paperback edition.

3. Herbert A. Johnson, A History of Criminal Justice, Cincinnati: Anderson, 1988. ISBN: 0-932930-75-1


Please note that these sources are to be used somewhat differently. The Johnson book is a regular text, and should be read carefully and thoroughly. Especially in the first half of the course, the Reader is just offering examples of documents for discussion, which I certainly do not expect you to read entirely or in detail. However, they provide useful illustrations that supplement lectures and the textbook. The Reader is thus more of a "sampler", so please do not be put off by its size or abundance of detail. In each class where there are readings from both Johnson and the Reader, the best policy is to read the Johnson book first, to understand the outlines of the topic; then look through the Reader for illustrative material. I think the combination of the three books will give you good depth of coverage; and knowledge of all is strictly required for satisfactory completion of the course.




1. January 12. Introduction and early development of criminal justice

FILM - Social control

Read: Reader 1-26. Johnson, 1-22


2. January 14. Classical justice - Greece and Rome - the trial of Sokrates.

Read: Reader 30-65. Johnson, 23-42


3. January 19. FILM - Witchcraft among the Azande


4. January 21. Early medieval criminal justice in Merovingian Francia and Anglo-Saxon England.

Read: Reader 66-97; Johnson, 43-56


5. January 26. Law and justice in England 1100-1260

Read: Reader 98-129; Johnson, 57-76


6. January 28. Crime and justice in feudal Europe

 Read: Reader 130-158


7. February 2. Ecclesiastical enforcement of law and morality - the Inquisition. The Church courts and the punishment of "victimless crimes"

Read: Reader 158-168


8. February 4. Women and early justice systems. The Salem trials.

Read: Reader 261-287


9. February 9. Witchcraft: the English experience.

Read: Reader 229-260; 512-527


10. February 11. EXAM ONE


11. February 16. Witchcraft panics and their modern parallels

Read: Jenkins, entire text


12. February 18. Crime and justice in early modern Europe

 Read: Reader 212-228; Johnson, 77-96


13-14. February 23-25. Early modern England - the age of the gallows. From capital punishment to imprisonment. Criminal procedure. Political and religious justice.

 Read: Reader 169-211; Johnson, 115-128


15. March 2. Beccaria and the Enlightenment

 Read: Reader 332-367


16-17. March 4/16. The rise of transportation. The convict colony in Australia. The implications of transportation for modern penal practice.

 Read: Reader 312-331; 498-511; Johnson, 97-114


18. March 18. American justice in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries

 Read: Reader 288-311, 385-395, 498-511; Johnson, 129-148


19. March 23. Positivism and Biocriminology

 Read: Reader 370-384 and 396-407


20. March 25. EXAM TWO


21. March 30. The insanity defense. FILM: The Trial of Guiteau

Read: Johnson, 149-170


22. April 1. The Progressives and penological change. Juvenile justice.

Read: Reader 408-415, 439-450; Johnson 217-239


23. April 6. Pennsylvania justice. Capital punishment; the eugenic movement

Read: Reader 416-438


24. April 8. The Supreme Court and criminal justice.

Read: Johnson, 171-196


25. April 13. Policing. Continental origins; Rome and France; England from the Statute of Winchester to the time of Robert Peel.

Read: Reader 451-488; Johnson, 197-216


26. April 15. Emergence of American policing: social, racial, industrial conflict. Progressivism and professionalism. Emergence of forensic science.

Read: Johnson, 239-270


27. April 20. National, secret and undercover policing.

Read: Johnson, 271-296


28. April 22. The realities of urban policing 1915-1960. Changing views of organized crime. Machines and syndicates


29. April 27. Political and bureaucratic dynamics at state and federal level. Race, civil rights and the struggles for control of law enforcement. Urban riots. Police unionism and strikes


30. April 29. EXAM THREE